|Publication number||US5197004 A|
|Application number||US 07/349,028|
|Publication date||Mar 23, 1993|
|Filing date||May 8, 1989|
|Priority date||May 8, 1989|
|Publication number||07349028, 349028, US 5197004 A, US 5197004A, US-A-5197004, US5197004 A, US5197004A|
|Inventors||David Sobotka, Ka L. Leung, Yul J. Inn, Lance Tokuda|
|Original Assignee||Resumix, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (182), Classifications (15), Legal Events (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
This invention relates to the field of computer analysis of text documents. More specifically it relates to the field of artificially intelligent systems capable of analyzing resumes and extracting information relating to job categorization.
Job categorization is a necessary step in the process of hiring new employees. In the employment office of most corporations, as resumes are received they are sorted and the applicant is assigned a job skill code indicating the types of jobs which the applicant may be able to perform. At present, this process requires someone who can read the resume and categorize the applicant.
The categorization process now used requires a skilled professional recruiter to read the resume. The recruiter uses his experience and knowledge to classify the applicant into one or several job categories. The knowledge required to perform the classification includes knowing which skills are required to perform various jobs, understanding the corporate job structure, and identifying an applicant's strengths and weaknesses.
The knowledge of which skills are required for a particular job category is acquired by professional recruiters over a number of years. Typically, a recruiter starts by working in a particular job area and reviews resumes which have already been sorted by a more experienced recruiter. This process allows the recruiter to gain experience. After a period of time the recruiter becomes familiar with the contents of applicants' resumes in this particular job category and can distinguish resumes falling within this job category from those more applicable to other categories.
In addition to knowing the necessary job skills, the recruiter must understand the job structure or organizational chart of both his own and other companies. In categorizing applicants an experienced recruiter makes frequent use of the job titles held by the applicant which can indicate the applicant's previous positions.
A recruiter should also be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of an applicant. Although the resume may indicate a very wide range of skills, the applicant may be proficient in only a small subset of these skills. A skilled recruiter is able to identify which skills are accurate descriptions of the applicant's talent and which are just "fluff" to inflate the applicant's resume.
Computer programs which attempt to simulate human knowledge and understanding are called knowledge-based systems. In particular, those which simulate an expert's knowledge in a particular domain are called expert systems. An expert system capable of performing job categorization would simulate the categorization skills of an experienced recruiter. General techniques used in creating expert systems include using rules which embody the expert's procedural knowledge (rule-based systems), using data structures containing the data known by the expert (frame-based systems), and using probabilistic methods to simulate expert judgement (evidential reasoning systems).
Rule-based systems are very effective if the expert's knowledge can be expressed in terms of logical relations of "IF-THEN" rules. An example of an IF-THEN rule is given below:
IF the applicant has a degree in Electrical Engineering
AND the applicant has circuit design experience
THEN the applicant is a hardware engineer.
This simple example demonstrates, however, that rules alone are not sufficient to do job classification. Consider an applicant who graduated with a degree in electrical engineering 10 years ago, worked as a circuit designer for a couple of years, returned to school, received an MBA, and is now working as a financial executive. It would be wrong to classify this person as presently an electrical engineer. Although the rule above could be augmented to include further conditions necessary to generate the classification of a hardware engineer only when appropriate, it is easy to see how complex such a rule would become.
Frame-based systems use frame data structures having slots, values and possibly rules to represent the knowledge of experts. The slots are named for the type of data required to fill the slot. In the example below, one of the slots is called "Name". To fill this slot, a particular value is required. For "Name", the applicant's name would be the proper value. Each slot may further be associated with particular rules. The rules resemble the type of rules used in a rule-based system, the difference being that in frame-based systems changes to the slot values trigger the operation of the rules. In rule-based systems, there is no such close coupling between the rules and the data.
______________________________________ Name:Degree: (if-addedIF degree is MBATHEN disregard engineering degree)Experience:..______________________________________
Each "slot" (e.g. Name, Degree, Experience, etc.) has a value representing the relevant data based on the applicant's resume. Notice the rule indicating that if an MBA is added to an applicant's frame, the engineering degree is effectively cancelled. This rule could be used to preclude the incorrect classification noted in the previous example. A given frame can have many slots, each slot capable of having one or more values and each slot possibly having associated rules.
Consider now an applicant who has an engineering degree and an MBA but who continues to work as an engineer. In this case, using the rule in the frame shown in the example would cause the applicant to be incorrectly classified once again. Although this problem can be circumvented through modification of the rules, as the rules become increasingly complex, so does the interaction between the rules and the data structures. Eventually, the complexity may become so great that it becomes impossible to determine which rules would be applied or take effect in any given circumstance.
The complexity of these rule-based and frame-based systems can be reduced by using probabilistic methods in which the conclusions generated are not certain but very likely to be true. Using these methods with examples 1 and 2 might result in rules which read as follows:
IF the applicant degree is in Electrical Engineering
AND the applicant also has an MBA
Prob(the applicant is a hardware engineer)=10%
Prob(the applicant is an engineering manager)=70%
Prob(the applicant category is unknown)=20%
The combination of either type of expert system with these probabilistic techniques is particularly effective when a relatively large amount of data is available for analysis prior to assigning the probabilities. In this case the probabilistic conclusions tend toward the actual case. Both rule-based and frame-based knowledge can be adapted to support the probabilistic methods.
Although the use of probabilistic methods in relation with rule-based and frame-based systems is known, these techniques have not been applied to the analysis of resumes, particularly the determination of which positions an applicant could suitably fill. The particular nature of resumes, with their various blocks of ungrammatical text and non-standard formats have previously prevented their computer analysis.
The present invention fulfills the need for an automated computerized system for resume analysis. By using a combination of frame-based and rule-based techniques, and further by incorporating probabilistic methods, the system is able to classify an applicant according to his employment potential with a high degree of accuracy.
The present invention uses a method and apparatus which converts resumes into a series of correctly ordered blocks comprised of computer understandable character strings which strings contain the contents of the resume. These blocks are processed by an extractor which uses a predefined pattern language called a "Grammar" to locate and extract words and word groups containing information believed to be relevant to the analysis of an applicant's capabilities. These words and word groups comprise the values which are used to fill the slot in the frame data structure. Finally, the contents of the frame data structure are operated upon using rule-based techniques interacting with probabilistic methods to categorize the job applicant with a high degree of accuracy using only his resume.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a system for practicing the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a chart of the hierarchical organization of the knowledge base;
FIG. 3 is a sample of category groups;
FIGS. 4A and 4B are lists of the various terms which are related to the Clerical job category;
FIG. 5 is a flowchart of the process by which relevant job categories are determined;
FIG. 6 is a flowchart of the process whereby the weights of various terms are assigned;
FIG. 7 is a flowchart of showing how category points are assigned; and
FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing how weak categories are eliminated.
FIG. 1 illustrates an apparatus implementing the preferred embodiment of the present invention. A digital computer system 1, using the method and apparatus described herein, operates upon data 2, derived from a printed resume. A Sun 3/50 computer from Sun Microsystems, Mountain View, Calif. has been successfully used as the computer in this embodiment.
It should also be noted that the computer software which realizes this invention is frequently referenced in this description. This software has been appended as Appendix 1.
Data 2 is derived from the printed resume by using the method and apparatus described in the commonly owned U.S. patent application entitled "A Method and Apparatus for computer Understanding and Manipulation of Minimally Formatted Text Documents" Ser. No. 07/345,930 which was filed on May 1, 1989, the entire specification of which is hereby incorporated by reference. The method and apparatus described therein accepts a printed resume as input and converts it into a series of properly ordered blocks of computer understandable character strings.
The character strings, called data 2, are delivered to computer 1. Computer 1 then passes data 2 through extractor program 4 which extracts words and word groups considered relevant to the categorization process. A knowledge base 3 contains a set of word patterns, also known as the grammar, which specify which words and word groups will be extracted by extraction program 4 working upon data 2. The words and word groups are placed in frame data structures. The words and word groups returned in the frame data structures can be encoded in electronic form and stored on any type of computer data storage device or it may be in a hard-copy printed format. The present invention's preferred embodiment operates upon frame data structures stored electronically in memory 6. In the preferred embodiment, the frames will contain such information as applicant's name, job titles, degrees, etc.
Computer 1 also uses memory 6 for storing all or part of knowledge base 3 and extractor program 4, the operation of which will be subsequently described. The job categories which are found to be appropriate are generated as output 5. The output can be in either an electronic format or a printed one.
FIG. 2 is a logical diagram of the hierarchical structure of knowledge base 3 in a general form. One particular group of word patterns (grammar) used to implement this logical hierarchy is shown in Appendix 2. At the top of the hierarchy are job category groups 22 ("Groups"). Each group is comprised of a number of job categories 24 ("Job Categories"). Under each job category 24 there are various indicators 26. Finally, under each indicator 26 there may or may not be various "buzzwords" 28. This hierarchy is only an example and other such hierarchical structures are possible. The meaning and import of each of these various classifications is discussed below.
FIG. 3 is a list of several exemplary groups (22, FIG. 2) and their attendant job categories (24, FIG. 2). The groups are 0001 Administrative, 0011 Marketing/Sales, 0016 manufacturing, and 0025 Technical. Under the Marketing/Sales group there are three job categories: 0012 Advertising/Comm, 0013 Marketing, and 0014 Sales. The groups and job categories shown in FIG. 3 are merely examples. Many different groups and job categories can be readily created to meet the needs of particular employers.
FIGS. 4A and 4B are a list of exemplary indicators and buzzwords (26 and 28, FIG. 2) Each job category has related indicators and each indicator may have an attendant list of buzzwords. The presence of these buzzwords in a particular resume increases the probability that the applicant should be classified in the job categories with which these buzzwords are associated. Typical indicators, which can be considered as logical groupings of buzzwords, are 0036 Desktop Publishers and 0047 Management. Indicator 0047 Management has buzzwords 0048 Executive and 0049 Manager. It should be noted that all the indicators and buzzwords in FIGS. 4A and 4B are related to job category Clerical. In FIG. 4A, the job title indicator at line 0006 has buzzwords associated with it which comprise various different job titles which might be used by someone holding a position in the particular job category, here Clerical. Education indicators may have buzzwords which comprise the various degrees which would normally be held by persons in the job category. Skill indicators contain lists of buzzwords which someone might use to describe their aptitude in the area of relevance. For example, someone who claims experience in "MacWrite" would have desktop publishing skills and would, therefore, increase the likelihood that he or she would be categorized in the Clerical job category.
Any given indicator may occur under several different job categories. For example, an indicator such as 0047 "Management" (FIG. 4A) might occur under a large number of job categories. Furthermore, indicators might occur in two job categories under two entirely different groups. For example, "Management" could also occur under the engineering job categories in "Technical" (see FIG. 3). Similarly, the same buzzword might occur under several different indicators. In FIGS. 4A and 4B, the buzzwords at 0043 in the "Desktop Publishers" indicator and at 0088 in the "Word Processors" indicator are both "Macwrite".
Using knowledge base 3 constructed according to the foregoing description, extractor program 4 (see FIG. 1) scans data 2 and extracts words and word groups which match the word patterns (the groups, job categories, indicators and buzzwords) in knowledge base 3. The words and word groups are stored in memory 6 in a frame data structures. After this process is complete, the present invention selects which job category or categories are most appropriate. The way this is carried out is described below.
A principle behind the entire job categorization process is to use the indicators which appear in a resume as evidence that the applicant should be classified in the job category or categories which contain these indicators. Additionally, this invention provides a method to resolve the ambiguous cases wherein either a skill occurs in more than one job category or a buzzword occurs in more than one skill, or both.
For each job category, a weight determination algorithm assigns to each job title, degree, buzzword, and designator under the job category an integer value which is directly proportional to its strength as an indicator. Any other word not assigned a value by this process is assigned a value 0 with respect to the process of job categorization. The weight assignment process is shown in FIG. 6 (see Appendix 1, listing "EXTRACT/devaluate.c".
It should be noted that the proper evaluation of the job categories requires certain predefined constants. These constants are derived from an empirical study of a large number of resumes. A list of these constants is given below in Table 1.
MAX-- THRESHOLD 12
MIN-- THRESHOLD 12
STRONG-- THRESHOLD 20
DEGREE-- PTS 2
BUZZWORD-- PTS 2
CATEGORY-- PTS 2
SKILL-- PTS 2
SKILL-- THRESHOLD 4
DOMINATE-- FACTOR 3
OBJ-- FACTOR 1
FIG. 5 is a flow chart that illustrates the overall job categorization process. In step 5.1, the weights are calculated and all category point totals are initialized to zero (see description below and FIG. 6). Step 5.2 indicates both the process by which the resume is converted into computer understandable strings of characters and the process by which words and word groups are extracted using extractor program 4 in conjunction with knowledge base 3 (FIG. 1). The former process is fully described in the co-pending application. The latter process has already been described in this specification. The output from the latter process is a frame data structure containing the educational degrees, job titles if they appear in the "Objective" section of the resume, and all other indicators occurring elsewhere on the resume.
A first job category is retrieved from memory 6 (FIG. 1) in step 5.3. The job category point total is calculated in step 5.4. This step determines the likelihood that the applicant should be classified in this job category (see description below and FIG. 7). This calculation is repeated for all the job categories by looping the process from step 5.5 to step 5.3 until all job categories are analyzed. Weak categories are eliminated in step 5.6 (see description below and FIG. 8). The proper job categories of the applicant, as determined by this process, are made available as output at step 5.7.
FIG. 6 is a flowchart of the weight calculations. At step 6.05 the first job category is retrieved from memory 6 (FIG. 1). Job title buzzwords are assigned the value MAX-- THRESHOLD in step 6.1. Each education degree is assigned a value equal to the variable DEGREE-- PTS in step 6.2. In step 6.3, the first skill indicator in the job category is retrieved from the memory. In step 6.4, the first buzzword from the first skill indicator's list of "buzzwords" is likewise retrieved from the memory. If the buzzword has not previously been assigned a weight (see step 6.5, and code function "install", Appendix 1, page 01067), then it is assigned a value of BUZZWORD-- PTS at step 6.6. If the buzzword has previously been assigned a weight, then its weight is reduced by 1/2 in step 6.7. Buzzwords are retrieved from memory 6 (FIG. 1) until all buzzwords for a skill indicator have been assigned a weight (see step 6.8 and loop to step 6.4). This process is likewise performed on all skill indicators for a given job category by looping the process back to step 6.3 if the test for more skill indicators at step 6.9 is true. When all skill indicators for a given job category have been processed, each designator indicator is assigned a value called CATEGORY-- PTS in step 6.10. At step 6.11 the process loop back to step 6.05 until all job categories have been processed.
FIG. 7 is a flow chart that illustrates the process for calculating category point totals for each job category (see Appendix 1, listing "EXTRACT/action.c". At step 7.1, the matched pattern instances from the particular resume are examined for occurrences of indicators and buzzwords of the particular job category. In the case of buzzwords, the weight for the particular buzzwords found is also added to the job category point total at step 7.2. Code function "TotalSkillBuzz" (Appendix 1) calculates the total for buzzword indicators. If a buzzword occurs within more than one job category, it is unlikely that buzzword has any great significance. On the other hand, if a buzzword occurs in only one job category, it is likely to be quite significant. Thus, if a buzzword occurs multiple times in the resume and that buzzword is associated with many different job categories, its weight is added only once, when it first occurs. On the other hand, if the buzzword occurs multiple times in the resume but is associated with only one job category, its weight is added for each occurrence.
Code function "SumMAX" (Appendix 1) updates the job category point total for job title indicators. Code functions "PointSum" (Appendix 1) and "Sum" (Appendix 1) update the job category point total for other indicators. In the case of an education indicator, the indicator must be found in the resume's education section to be counted. At step 7.3, a check is made to see if there are more indicators for the particular job category. If there are, the process returns to step 7.1 and gets the next indicator.
If there are no more indicators for the particular job category, SKILL-- PTS are added to the job category point total for each skill indicator whose related buzzwords have contributed at least SKILL-- THRESHOLD points at step 7.4. In step 7.5 (code function "Threshold", Appendix 1), the job category point total is compared with the MIN-- THRESHOLD. If the job category point total is less than the MIN-- THRESHOLD, the category point total is reset to zero. The job category point total is returned to the previously described categorization process (see steps 5.4, FIG. 5) at step 7.6.
FIG. 8 illustrates the process used to eliminate weakly suggested job categories (see Appendix 1, listing "EXTRACT/category.c", functions "CheckCategory" and "CheckSubcat"). At step 8.1 a check is made to see if there is at least one job category with more than STRONG-- THRESHOLD points. If there is at least one such job category, then, in step 8.2 all job categories with less than STRONG-- THRESHOLD points are reset to a point total of zero. HIGH-- POINTS, the highest point total of all job categories is determined in step 8.3. In step 8.4, job categories C-- low, whose point total satisfies the following inequality have their point total reset to zero:
points(C-- low)×DOMINATE-- FACTOR<=HIGH-- POINTS.
At step 8.5 a check is made to see if there is a job title in the objective section of the resume. If there is a job title, then OBJ-- POINTS is set to the point total of the job category which includes (as a job title indicator) the job title which was found in the objective section. At step 8.7, the point total of job categories C-- notobj which satisfy the following inequality have their point total reset to zero:
points(C-- notobj)×OBJ-- FACTOR<=OBJ-- POINTS.
At this point, whatever job categories which still have a positive value are returned to the categorization process at step 5.7 in FIG. 5. If there were no job titles in the objective section, then the process returns to step 5.7 of FIG. 5 from step 8.5, skipping steps 8.6 and 8.7.
The previous description has shown how the present invention combines both frame- and rule-based systems and applies probabilistic methods to the combination. A knowledge base called a grammar is created containing word patterns which indicate skill in a particular job category. These word patterns are weighted to reflect their relative strength as skill indicators. A string of computer understandable character strings is accepted as input. An extractor module locates words and word groups in the input which match the word patterns in the knowledge base and places these words and word groups in frame data structures. The weighting and summing operations are then performed on these frame data structures, the final results comprising the job category or categories most applicable to the applicant whose resume is being analyzed.
In the foregoing specification, the invention has been described with reference to a specific exemplary embodiment thereof. It will, however, be evident that various modifications and changes may be made thereunto without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims. For example, this categorization process is not limited to resumes. Additionally, the constants in Table 1 could be changed for optimum performance with different document types (e.g. job application forms in place of resumes). The grammar (knowledge base) used by the extractor could also be modified to retrieve more or different types of information. Many such changes or modifications are readily envisioned. The specification and drawings are, accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative rather than in a restrictive sense. ##SPC1##
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|U.S. Classification||705/7.14, 706/925, 706/53, 706/52, 705/7.33|
|International Classification||G06Q30/02, G06Q10/06, G06Q10/10|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S706/925, G06Q30/0204, G06Q10/10, G06Q10/063112|
|European Classification||G06Q10/10, G06Q10/06311B, G06Q30/0204|
|May 8, 1989||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: RESUMIX, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:SOBOTKA, DAVID;LEUNG, KA L.;INN, YUL J.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:005151/0697
Effective date: 19890508
|Feb 22, 1994||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Sep 16, 1996||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jan 27, 2000||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SILICON VALLEY BANK, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RESUMIX, INC.;REEL/FRAME:010547/0572
Effective date: 19991210
|Aug 7, 2000||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: RESUMIX, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: RELEASE;ASSIGNOR:SILICON VALLEY BANK;REEL/FRAME:011019/0863
Effective date: 20000726
|Sep 12, 2000||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Aug 25, 2004||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|Jul 26, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: YAHOO! INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RESUMIX, INC.;REEL/FRAME:017996/0333
Effective date: 20060612